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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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part of these Powers to defend them. The advice given by the United
States to Finland., telling her to surrender to the merciless demands of the
Kremlin., and their final breaking-off of diplomatic relations with that
country., came as a severe blow to those peoples of the Middle Zone.
Although they had been ready at that stage to seize the first opportunity
to come out of the war, the invasion of Europe found all of them still in
the ring as collaborators of Hitler. Rumania was the first to break away,
but only at the time when the Allies were entering Paris and the Russians
nearing Warsaw.
There was a significant contrast between the treatment of the peoples
of Western Europe by the Anglo-American c crusaders * and the treatment
which the Russian c liberators * meted out to those peoples who had come
within their reach. Italy dropped out of the war with the least possible
cost to herself; the Badoglio Government was recognised without ques-
tion by Russia and the Allies. The French people and their de Gaulle
Government were allowed complete freedom to re-arrange the internal
affairs of their country unhindered. The movement of liberation in
Western Europe received the utmost support from the Allies and thousands
of planes dropped supplies for the French., Yugoslav and even Italian
patriots in the most difficult of terrain., while captured German armaments
were placed at their disposal. None of those countries had been asked
to give up their territories or set up a * friendly ' government^ sponsored
by a great Power.
East of Germany the situation was entirely different. There., each
country had been threatened by the coming c liberators 5 and each was
the recipient of demands which varied from public surrender and incor-
poration into the Soviet Union., to a submission, masked by an apparent
willingness on the part of the unfortunate country concerned. Russia
was acting, indeed., as if that part of the world were predestined to become
her own, as if the Kremlin, with the connivance of those Powers who had
proclaimed the Atlantic Charter, was alread}7 in possession of sovereign
right over these territories. The " categorical'J denials of Cordell Hull in
Washington and Eden in London, on May 24, in the House, " that at some
place or other, never specified—it may be Moscow, it may be Teheran—
(they) had done a deal., it may be with the Soviet Government ... by
which they would cease to interest themselves in certain parts of Europe "
could not prevent the world from assuming that some kind of mutual
agreement must have existed among the Big Three concerning the
division of Europe between Britain and the U.S.S.R. Furthermore, it
seemed that, in this division, Europe beyond Germany was to be left to
the discretion of the Soviets, to a c liberation * of the Russian kind; a
freedom as far from Western ideas as the Soviet order was from the
Western conception of life. With regard to Hitler's accomplices—the
peoples of the Middle Zone—the Allies, it was true, had no formal obliga-
tions towards them whatsoever, but was Poland also to be abandoned